ST 2511 – Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2511 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2511 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

With puzzles as consistently good as these it’s difficult to say something different each Sunday, so I won’t try. Just enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 27th November.


1a Arranged as a winch, it can lower lots of timber (8)
Arranged here indicates that an anagram of AS A WINCH is required in order to get a tool for cutting down trees

15a Person ultimately defending deception in part of India (6)
The ultimate defender on the football pitch is a charade of a part of India and a deception

21a Current diaries do, compared to their predecessors, alas! (8)
The definition is tucked away at the end of the clue – the rest is a cryptic definition based on the fact that last year was a leap year!

28a Mouth I shut in quiet way, as member of order (8)
The resolution of this clue is all in how you break it up! – a slang word for mouth is followed by I inside (shut in) a couple of abbreviations, one for quiet and the other for a way or urban road; the definition is a member of a religious order – what makes this such an excellent clue is that this religious order are known for their quiet ways


2d Henry’s taken over revolt in plant (8)
A short affectionate form of the name Henry, much favoured by Shakespeare, is put around word meaning to revolt to get this plant

16d Early birds (8)
Two birds combine to give a sign of early morning

25d Remove from deciduous tree (4)
A word meaning to remove is hidden in the rest of the clue

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!

38 comments on “ST 2511 – Hints

  1. Hi Dave, actually finished the Sunday crossword on Saturday, a first for me! Actual my wife helped me!

    It was very easy going at the start, then got a bit harder. I’d never heard of 23a so it took a while to get the two rightwingers, the last on was straightforward but the first one took longer. 15a took an age because we hhad the a and u interchanged in 12d, once I corrected that it was easy. So for once I did not need any hints to finsih it, too bad it was rated as just entertaining!

  2. This was more of a challenge than the last few Sundays’ puzzles. It was still great fun with all of the joys that we have come to expect from our Sunday Supremo. A minor niggle is that in 15a, the “in” is misleading and there is nothing to indicate that the charade is clued “B in A” to give an answer of A + B with the words reversed – if that makes sense.

    I have one major problem with this puzzle. There are too many good clues to choose a favourite this week.

    1. I thought that at first and then thought that the setter gets away with it because if the deception is happening in the place mentioned it could be a *** ***. I know exactly what you mean but feel that the improved surface reading allows a bit of a stretch

      1. Don’t get that – if ithe deception is happening in the place mentioned it wouln’t be *** it would be****. Not sure if I’ve explained that at all well!

  3. I enjoyed that – good clues all round. Enough straightforward clues to get you started on the more difficult ones. No complaints!

  4. There were some good clues – partidularly liked 23a and 19d but hated all the four letter words. Didn’t enjoy this as much as last week but it was still better than most of the others this week. Still think Friday’s was the highlight.

    Even with your hint Dave I took ages to figure out 15a – when I did I thought why didn’t I see it before. Probably because I don’t think in those terms for defenders. It was a nice clue though.

    Were there lots of those double unchies that Tilsit is always mentioning? EG – 27a, 9a, 6d, 3d,2d – is that what he means?

        1. not sure about double unches Lea – do they only come in across clues, and do they matter anyway, if so how, maybe Tilsit will enlighten us??

          1. Mary

            There will usually be as many in the down clues as there are in the across. The main problem is when the clues which include the double unchecked letters are imprecise. Here all the clues are fair which is why you didn’t notice the problem. The problem becomes exacerbated when certain setters use them with grids that have most initial letters unchecked and then use poor cluing as well. I’d be put to the sword if I mentioned any names !!

  5. What a cracking crossword with some fine clues. Set at a level which for most with some external help is just about achievable.

    The biggest sin for me was 23a as a theologian and synod member. The last clue I got. Just shows that one cannot rely on one’s knowledge of Canon Law to do crosswords. Maybe those who wish to become ordinariates will be more familiar with the term.

    1. This one didn’t cause me too many problems, but then I do take services at St Mary Le Bow, home of the Court of Arches!

      1. Some of us have to make do with Oxford Street Cathedral, otherwise known as All Saints, Margaret Street.

  6. A none-too-difficult puzzle in which I solved some 15 clues offhand – among them across 1, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 26, 27 and 28. I liked 18a. You will have noticed that the India clue (15a) eluded me in this initial foray!

    1. Oh shame Nubian – I liked that one! Good crossword altogether & lots of clues I liked inc. 9a, 11a,12d,28a. However don’t understand why 13a is what it is (unless of course I have it wrong in which case I’ve no idea what it is!). I know it’s tricky to explain on a weekender but if anyone can……

      1. the first six letters are what a judge might do if he/she had to go back to court for the same case over again

        1. 13a Tries again with European play, in practice (8)

          … and the first seven letters put it into the correct tense! Then add the E(uropian). The definition is “play, in practice” – very clever.

      2. Claire.
        By your leave Big Dave, 13a is made up of going to court a second time for the same trial and ending with the penultimate letter of letter. thereby practicing a forthcoming play.

          1. I think BD’s comment was an extension of Mary’s – not quite sure where ‘letter’ came from Nubian. With my background I think I’d have clued it with a funeral! (am I allowed to say that?)

            1. You are right Claire – it was an extension of Mary’s. I didn’t understand Nubian either – he probably imbibed too much of the alcohol in yesterday’s 24a.

              1. Ah yesterday’s – finally got round to it after an afternoon in town in the rain. With a fair amount of the aforementioned it went down quite well!
                At first glance today’s looks tricky – Hmm I’ll see how I get on this evening.

  7. Have been busy today so just finished failed on two 9a and 8d had help with those off my brother, some lovely clues today, although I did find it quite difficult, for us clueless club i would say it is worth the struggle with some very clever witty clues, quite a few favourites today, 15a is misleading because the deception isnt in part of India it is after a part of India!!!! – isn’t it?? needless to say my little electronic friend was also very helpful today especially for 23a which i had never heard of and although i played golf for many years i have never used that term either :)

  8. I have since completed this. 9a is a good one. I don’t think 15a comes across very well. But nice to see a couple of football terms.

  9. Regarding 15a – I had a debate about the use of “in” a couple of weeks ago. Today’s setter and Giovanni were among those who leapt to the defence. I still don’t like it and don’t buy into the justifications given so I will watch the comments with interest.

  10. Many thanks for the kind comments. These, together with Peter Biddlecombe’s expert commentaries, keep me on my toes.

    On 15 across, the intended reading is Toby’s, that is to say the subsidiary indication is a phrase defining the answer split as (3,3). That’s ok in my book.

    I wondered if anyone noticed the thematic element explicit in 27 across and to be found unheralded in four other answers? I don’t intend to do this in general (except for special occasions such as Christmas), it just emerged as I was constructing the grid.

    1. Had not spotted the Nina. On the basis of today’s crossword, I thought you might be doing it on a daily basis!

      Having seen Toby’s and your explanation on 15a, I see the alternative reading and withdraw my niggle!

  11. Thanks Sunsetter for a fantastic puzzle. I liked 11a, 28a, 4d and 17d.

    I didn’t used to do the Sunday puzzle but with brilliant puzzles like these I will certainly be a Sunday cryptic regular from now on.

  12. Those “double unches” …

    In every word with a double unch in this puzzle, the effect of the double unch is that you get a checked letter for both the first and last letters of the word, which I’d count as a benefit in the 6- and 8-letter words where all the double unches happen – I can’t see that G?A??E is any worse for GOALIE than G?A?I? or ?O?L?E, for example, and the combination of rotational symmetry with the usual X?X?X? pattern means that half of the 6s must have their first letter unchecked. As well as double unches, the grid for 2511 also has generous checking for four of the 4-letter words (3 of 4 letters) and all the 12s (7 of 12).

    I’m far more bothered by sub-50% checking in grids than double unches, and some Telegraph grids still seem to have this. Finding the right word for a vague cryptic def and ?A?E? is one of my xwd solving pet hates – with something like W?T?R (or W??ER or WA??R) there’s far less of a problem. Double unches for the first two or last two letters are poor, but I’ll guarantee that Sunsetter will never do that to you – and when you get them in other Telegraph grids, you’ll often have something like 2 checked letters in a 6-letter word, so it’s the amount of checking that’s the real problem – even ?XX?X? is much better than ??X?X?. Double unches are a no-no in most barred grid cryptics, but these have an average of about 80% checking rather than the 60% or so in good blocked grid puzzles.

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